ON OUR DESKS

  • Assisted and advised on compliance with Russia related sanctions
  • Advised on cryptocurrency developments, including congressional and administration agenda 
  • Supported sustainability communications and analyzed climate disclosure standards developments
  • Advised on senior outreach to resolve Treasury licensing constraints

How can we help you? Email any IBC counsellor for assistance or consult our issues list to find the expert you’re looking for.


WIBC DISCUSSIONS

In case you missed it:

 

  • U.S. international health priorities with Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Global Affairs Loyce Pace (Contact: Scott Seaman)
  • EU perspectives on climate and energy policies with European Union Delegation Counselor for Climate and Energy Dagmara Koska (Contact: Chris Benscher)

Up next: Register for upcoming WIBC discussions here

WIBC discussions are open to WIBC members only. Not a member? Contact Christina for membership inquiries.


YOU NEED TO KNOW

China tariffs

USTR opened a public comment period on May 3 to receive input into its statutory four-year review of the Section 301 China tariffs. USTR will accept requests for continuation of List 1 tariffs through July 5 and for List 2 tariffs through August 22. During a second phase of the review, USTR will accept comments on, among other matters, the effectiveness of the 301 tariffs, other actions that could be taken, and the tariffs’ impact on the U.S. economy. 

Meanwhile, in debate over the China competitiveness legislation, the full Senate approved a non-binding motion to include provisions directing the administration to restart a Section 301 tariff exclusion process. Contrary to USTR’s request, 23 Democrats (and 29 Republicans) voted in favor of the motion, including Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR). 

(Contact: Steve Ziehm, Chris Benscher)

Summit of the Americas

Unconfirmed reports indicate that up to 14 CARICOM countries could refuse to participate in the Summit of the Americas if Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua are excluded. As of this writing, CARICOM officials and other Caribbean leaders have not confirmed or denied this. The news comes after Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols confirmed the United States will not invite Nicaragua, Venezuela, or Cuba to the Summit. 

Further Summit outreach and preparations continue. President Biden and Mexican President Lopez Obrador spoke about “strengthening North American supply chains and modernizing [the] border to further strengthen our agricultural and commercial trade,” while Vice President Harris met with 15 CARICOM leaders to discuss “economic recovery, security, and climate and energy.” Secretary of State Blinken outlined priorities for the administration’s Summit strategy – avoiding ideological divisions, promoting fairer trade and investment, building resilient supply chains, strengthening democracies, and promoting multilateral policy solutions. 

(Contact: Ethan Knecht)

ESG disclosure standards

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) released draft sustainability reporting standards proposed for implementation under the EU Corporate Sustainable Reporting Directive (CSRD) being developed to replace the current Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). Large companies will likely be required to begin reporting in 2024, using CSRD standards to assess performance in 2023. A 100-day public consultation for the drafts will end August 8. The EFRAG’s Sustainability Reporting Board held a meeting on April 28 to kick off the consultation period, and the EFRAG’s Sustainability Reporting Technical Expert Group hosted a webinar on May 5. EFRAG will host other outreach events in the coming weeks and likely provide dates and other information about them on its meetings calendar.

(Contact: Scott Seaman)

Russia sanctions

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined a proposed sixth EU package of Russian sanctions in May 4 remarks to the European Parliament. The proposed package includes a phased-in embargo on Russian oil over the next year, with extensions reportedly to be granted to Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. The current draft also: proposes to restrict transportation and insurance services related to Russian oil; deSWIFTs additional banks, including Sberbank, the Russian Agricultural Bank, and Credit Bank of Moscow; sanctions additional Russian persons, including Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kiril; and may also contain restrictions on provision of consulting services. Representatives from EU member states are meeting on Friday to consider the package, which will likely be issued early next week. 

(Contact: Pat Sheehy)

Quick takes

  • The U.S. trade deficit widened to a record high of $109.8 billion in March 2022, according to a May 4 Commerce Department report. Imports rose by 10.3% in March to $351.5 billion.
  • The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched a fact finding investigation into the effects of Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs on U.S. industries.  The report, due to Congress in March 2023, will provide an economic analysis of the impact of these tariffs on U.S. trade, production, and prices in the industries most affected by these tariffs.
  • Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hagiuda Koichi held the first Ministerial meeting of the Japan-U.S. Commercial and Industrial Partnership (JUCIP) on May 4. JUCIP focuses on promoting bilateral cooperation on semiconductors, export controls, digital economy, and trade/investment.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio visited Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand this week, focusing on efforts to strengthen support in the region for opposing Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea.
  • Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., whose father ruled the Philippines from 1965 to 1986, is leading polls in the run-up to a presidential election on May 9. Some research suggests disenchantment with democracy has paved the way for strongman leaders like outgoing current President Rodrigo Duterte and Marcos to rise to power. Duterte’s daughter is Marcos’ running mate.
  • A Global Energy Monitor report highlighted that in 2021, “China continued to be the glaring exception to the ongoing global decline in coal plant development.” Last year, 56% of the 45 gigawatts of newly commissioned global coal capacity was in China.
  • Outstanding environmental issues holding up long-delayed ratification of the EU-Mercosur FTA could be resolved by the end of 2022, according to EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius after his visit this week to Brazil.

NOTICES, BILLS & HEARINGS

Federal Register Notices

Legislation

Senate

  • S.4145 (Cantwell, D-WA) A bill to add equitable relief considerations as part of the International Trade Administration’s authority (Section 13) to seek injunctions in federal district court to halt unfair and deceptive practices.
  • S.4143 (Rubio, R-FL) A bill to automatically impose an import ban on agricultural products from Russia if Russia bans agricultural imports from the U.S.  
  • S.4142 (Rubio, R-FL) Prohibits U.S. research agencies, as well as universities, colleges, and private companies that receive federal funding, from engaging in STEM research or technical exchange with Chinese entities of concern in areas of cutting-edge technology.
  • S.4134 (Cornyn, R-TX) A bill to direct the President to submit to Congress a report on Russia’s war crimes.
  • S.4129 (Rubio, R-FL) A bill to promote peace through strength in Taiwan.
  • S.4112 (Menendez, D-NJ) A bill to combat China’s economic coercion, requires U.S. financing agencies to report where China controls debt, impose semiconductor technology and R&D exports controls to China, report on China’s involvement in counterfeiting, IP violations, and subsidies, and promoting U.S. economic statecraft across international institutions. 

Hearings

House

Senate


WHO’S WHO

Arrivals

  • Brad Crabtree, Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy and Carbon Management
  • Cary Fowler, State Department Special Envoy for Global Food Security
  • Erik Raven, Under Secretary of the Navy
  • Laurie Locascio, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology
  • Lindsey Zuluaga, Special Adviser to the Vice President for Global Economic Issues

Want more scoops on personnel moves? Find the most recent Who’s Who here.


UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Philippines presidential elections, May 9
  • House and Senate are in session, May 9-13
  • UN Forum on Forests (New York), May 9-13
  • Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Delhi, India), May 9-15
  • APEC Second Senior Officials’ Meeting (Bangkok), May 9-19
  • Italian Prime Minister Draghi visits the White House, May 10
  • FAO Regional Conference for Europe (Łódź, Poland), May 10-11
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Annual Meeting (Marrakech, Morocco), May 10-12
  • U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission hearing on China’s Activities and Influence in South and Central Asia, May 12
  • U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit (Washington, DC), May 12
  • Second Global COVID-⁠19 Summit (Virtual), May 12
  • 52nd Annual Washington Conference on the Americas, May 12

Looking farther ahead? Find the most recent full international events calendar here.